By Herman Delgado

When she’s not busy as a clinical assistant for the El Paso Health Department, working with El Paso’s HIV prevention program, Kristy Young, aka ‘Atomic Blossom’, spends numerous hours doing what she loves doing best… going around the derby track at a high rate of speed, blocking out other skaters, cutting through skaters, putting up screens, sometimes hitting the deck, and more often putting opponents face down on the deck. Sounds rough and challenging, but roller derby skating is what Young has a passion for and loves doing. This is the sport she loves to do on her spare time, which is about three times a week leading up to monthly Borderland Roller Derby bouts at the Judging Arena, located right next to the El Paso County Coliseum. Young is grateful to be part of BRD because it helped her on a personal level. She’s not much of a talker or social butterfly. “Sounds funny but I’m not comfortable with small talk with my co-workers,” said Young. “I absolutely hate it…I grew up with social anxiety so I’ve always been shy and awkward, but that’s a ‘me’ problem that roller derby actually helped me to overcome a bit.”

Young, born in Roswell, New Mexico, moved here to El Paso when she was 10. She attended El Dorado High School and is a single parent to her 14-year old daughter Eris. “My biggest motivation in life has always been my daughter,” said Young. “I promised myself I would give her everything I didn’t have growing up.” Eris is what motivates her to continue striving for the good things in life and being a positive role model for her. Eris attends most of her bouts and enjoys watching. “My daughter gets a bit nervous when I jam, but she knows I’m tough,” said Young.

Young has been involved with BRD for five years; Young has been involved in coordinating outreaches at local business to provide medical services to patients in our community for the past two years. “BRD is something I do for myself,” said Young. “It’s my escape…a place I feel free flying on the track.” She also enjoys the time she spends with her co-workers and other girls who are part of the BRD community. Young wasn’t involved in many sports growing up, “I played basketball when I was in eighth grade, but it’s nothing compared to roller derby,” said Young. What is really important to Young about the BRD is getting people involved and getting the community to know them and understand their sport and why they do it. “BRD is home to many different personalities, professions, and generations. We strive to help non-profit organizations, embrace local businesses, artist, and try to promote their work,” said Young. “We especially enjoy meeting youth and showing them the world of roller skating and the health benefits associated with our sport.”

I have been to several of BRD’s bouts and they absolutely put on a great event. I have the best seat in the house…standing outside the rail as they skate by at high rates of speed. I can hear the sounds of bodies hitting the floor, the pushing and shoving, and the smack talking going on. Young hopes that more fans come out and support their events. “What we can say to our community, is that we love what we do, this is a family friendly sport, we devote to show our passion for and wish to inspire our fans,” said Young. “Our desire is to continue to do so; we want our fans to spread the word to family, friends, and co-workers and help support our organization. We are always looking for sponsors to help us stay afloat and help us to continue doing what we love to do.

*For more information on upcoming events and tickets, you’ll find Borderland Roller Derby on Facebook.


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